Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease characterized by increased sensitivity of the bronchi to external stimuli. With this pathology, there are periodically occurring attacks of suffocation.
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The development of bronchial asthma is associated with the influence of allergic factors (dust, fungal spores, certain types of food, medicines, etc.) and other components of the external environment. We are talking about physical activity, chemicals, cigarette smoke, adverse weather conditions, etc. Healthy people do not react to such effects. This is due to their lack of a genetic predisposition to the disease, as well as immune disorders and high sensitivity of the bronchi.
The presence of this disease is manifested by atypical inflammation of the bronchi, which is characterized by a very high sensitivity not only to a specific allergen, but also to other influences. Each such effect leads to a rapid contraction of the smooth muscles of the bronchi. This is manifested by their spasm and obstruction. In addition, bronchial asthma is characterized by excessive mucus production and swelling of the mucous membrane of the respiratory system.
The clinical picture of bronchial asthma.
This disease is characterized by attacks of suffocation. The precursors of the attack are a runny nose of a watery nature, cough, the appearance of shortness of breath and fatigue, pain in the head, increased urination and emotional disorders. In most cases, patients experience suffocation at night and in the morning. Complaints with bronchial asthma are a feeling of lack of air, difficulty exhaling and heaviness in the chest. There is the appearance of a cough with thick sputum. At a distance from the patient, wheezing of a whistling nature can be heard. It is worth noting that during an attack of the disease, additional muscles are involved in breathing. To facilitate their condition, patients carry out the adoption of a special position (orthopaedic).
The anamnesis of the disease plays an important role in the diagnosis.
The purpose of treatment of bronchial asthma is to improve the quality of life and the ability to carry out work activities.
It is necessary to train the patient to monitor the course of the disease.
It is recommended to exclude the action of factors that cause seizures.
If it is impossible to prevent an attack, patients are prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs that dilate the bronchi.
Glucocorticoid hormones, stabilizers of mast cell membrane structures, NSAIDs, etc. have an anti-inflammatory effect. Monoclonal antibodies are also used in the treatment of bronchial asthma.
It is very important for patients with asthma to adhere to certain rules that will significantly ease their condition and will not lead to another attack.
- Find out as much information as possible about the disease bronchial asthma. To do this, contact your doctor, pulmonologist or attend classes at the school of bronchial asthma. For classes at the school of bronchial asthma in the UZ “29th city polyclinic” in Minsk, contact a rehabilitation doctor (work schedule in the reference table).
- Identify the triggers that trigger your asthma and avoid contact with them.
- Give up smoking yourself, prohibit smoking in your presence, and avoid contact with smoke from any source.
- Make sure that you correctly understand the instructions for using devices for the treatment and control of asthma (spacer, metered-dose aerosol inhaler, turbuhaler, aerolizer, nebulizer, peak flow meter, diskhaler). If you do not understand the method of use, ask your doctor or nurse questions to learn how to use these devices correctly.
- Do not allow yourself to run out of supplies of medicines for treating asthma and providing emergency care for a choking attack.
- More air! That should be your motto. Despite the bitter cold, your room should always be ventilated. Just for a few minutes.
- Throw out of the house all the extra things, soft toys, all sorts of figurines and napkins. In general, everything that quickly collects and accumulates dust.
- For better regulation of breathing, try to breathe only through the nose. With this breathing, the air is moistened and purified.
- More positive mood. Less emotion! Remember that all life’s problems and troubles are nothing… The main thing is your health. Keep repeating this to yourself.
- Don’t overeat. A full stomach puts a lot of pressure on the diaphragm. Drink water often and little by little. Eat less watermelons and grapes, as well as peas, after which there are stomach problems.
- Forget the afternoon nap. You should not immediately go to bed after visiting the bath!
- It’s never too late to start hardening your body. Start with wet wipes and dousing your feet with cold water. Help your body become stronger.
- Learn to control your illness. Take the medications prescribed to you for the treatment of asthma, in strict accordance with the recommendations of a specialist doctor. Do not arbitrarily reduce the amount of basic anti-inflammatory treatment without consulting your doctor, even if your asthma symptoms have stopped bothering you. Avoid uncontrolled use of short-acting B2-agonists (inhalers for suffocation) without a doctor’s advice. At the first sign of loss of control, contact your doctor to correct the treatment.
Remember that asthma is not a sentence and everything is in your hands!
How can you independently assess whether you have asthma under control?
According to current guidelines, the goal of asthma therapy is to achieve and maintain long-term control over the disease. With proper treatment, many asthmatics can not only improve their condition, but completely free themselves from the symptoms and manifestations of asthma. Of course, this is possible if regular basic therapy is performed. Achieving and maintaining control over asthma for a long time is real; moreover, almost every asthmatic can improve their control over the disease.
To assess whether you have achieved asthma control, you can use the Asthma Control Test (ACT). The test is designed for regular assessment of the condition and will help you understand whether there is a need to consult a specialist and change the therapy.
Everyone can check how asthma is controlled: it is enough to answer five simple test questions and calculate the final score. The maximum score (25 points) means that you have reached your goal and your asthma is under control. Tell your doctor about this result and he will most likely recommend continuing the prescribed treatment to maintain the achieved result and regularly take an asthma control test (AST). If the test result is low (less than 20 points), this indicates a lack of control over the disease. In this case, you should immediately consult a doctor and discuss with him how to improve the treatment. With a result of 20 to 24 points, it also does not hurt to talk to your doctor, because now you know that you can achieve even better control over asthma!
Despite its simplicity, this test has proven to be a reliable method, the results of which are consistent with the results of the assessment of the condition by pulmonologists and spirometry data. An important advantage of the test is that it can be used to assess how your condition changes under the influence of the therapy.